Why did I write Cradling My Soul?

After a three year withdrawal because of the pandemic, last October I came back to Maryland, the place that used to be my childhood emotional nest. Since my infancy— and all along the years, my many trips to America had drawn and carved notes on staves, bringing the music I needed, putting to the surface some epiphanies as sensitive as small intimate volcanoes, forging a kind of constellation. But this very time, as I had missed my refuge, everything was even more accurate, clear and obvious. The long and deep roots I was walking on would almost talk to me, expressing my sense of belonging. The sense of belonging to places, people and heart family. Right in the middle of my three-week journey, I felt the urge to write a story, that would carry my feeling. Like a song emerging from my heart, eyes, spirit and soul— vital and genuine.



The Book:

Cradling My Soul is a hand-made book of artist, each copy is numbered and signed. The 19 page book is nestled in a white Indian cotton paper graced with some embroideries reflecting the colors of the pictures and  wrapped in an Indian linen paper, brown like some soil.

Book size: 7 x 9,5 inch— 19 pages, including 7 original photographs and a poem.

Price: $150

Contact for purchase: beachauvin@wanadoo.fr

Cradling My Soul (c) Béatrice Chauvin 2022’c


For twenty years I traveled the world shooting pictures for such French publications as Marie-Claire Maison, Résidences Décoration, Oui Magazine, Série Limitée, as well as for Arte, The Franco-German Cultural Channel. Twelve years ago I discovered Memphis Tennessee. I was totally electrified by the resonances of its music, and I immersed myself into a body of work anchored to my early childhood in Maryland. As if traveling by raft on America’s greatest rivers, this labor of love carried me from the Memphis Blues, to Mississippi, and then back to Maryland, offering me endless inspiration, enriched by a ballet of rare and rhythmical coincidences that came into my life. I call this weaving of synchronicities “signs” and visualize it like a red thread that I have pushed forward from inception.  When we used to live in Maryland, my father would take my brother Hubert and me in a place out of time, hidden and nearly secret beside the Susquehanna River. In this landscape of water, large rocks and airy trees, with eagles turning in the sky by hundreds during their April migration, everything was soulful, obvious, clear and spiritual. While I was playing on this ground I know something related to Black History was coming to me: layer after layer, the deep brown and fertile earth was handing me down its stories which were to be caught softly but deeply in my subconscious.

Béatrice Chauvin

97 rue de Belleville

75019 Paris France